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'Mar Walah'- Mini Concert (Hindustani). India Release 03 July 22. Promotion II. Berny

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AP -282a - 'Mar Walah'- Mini Concert (Hindustani). India Release 03 July 22. Promotion II. Berny
Call Number

AP 282a

Part Number Part I - Syro Malabar Church
Title 'Mar Walah'- Mini Concert (Hindustani). India Release 03 July 22. Promotion II. Berny
Duration 5:59
Place of Recording  
Date of Recording  
Youtube URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuarBl-5jN4
Video Segment (s)

 

AP - 282. 'Mar Walah'- Mini Concert (Hindustani). India Release 03 July 22. Promotion II

Composer-Performer: Dr. Prof. Krishna Pada Mondal.
India release on 3 July 20222 at Constitution Club, Sansad Marg , New Delhi.

Notes

This video marks the tenth anniversary of launching the Aramaic Project that started with a goal to preserve an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Here we see a mini classical music concert with Christian text in the ancient Aramaic language for the first time. The Aramaic language and Hindustani music have a shared geographical connection to West Asia. Besides, Aramaic was one of the languages in the Edicts of Emperor Ashoka in the third century BC.

The concert consists of just two words: MAR WALAH, “ MY Lord and my God.” St. Thomas the Apostle uttered those words in amazement at seeing the resurrected Jesus. The Apostle acknowledges Jesus as both man and God (John 20: 28), a profound profession of faith. For that reason, Mar Walah is the favorite Mantra of the St. Thomas Christians both in India and the Middle East.

Remarkably, Dr. Krishna Pada Mondal, the composer-performer ingeniously explores multiple ways to articulate the words to conduct a musical meditation. In this meditation, prayer and aesthetic enjoyment intersect against the infinite shruti emanating from the two tanpuras.

A Hindustani classical music concert with a Christian theme is new; Dr. Mondal shows us that music is an areligious combination of sound and silence, a medium to express any religious sentiment from any cultural background. The performer's goal is to take the listeners from the world of sound to the cave of internal silence and the realm of the ultimate reality beyond religion. Words divide; silence unties.

The choice of Raga, too, is remarkable. The pentatonic Hamsadhwani (Sa-Ri-Ga-Pa-Ni-Sa/Sa-Ni-Pa-Ga-Ri-Sa) is believed to be of South Indian origin. There are several popular compositions in this raga in Karnatak and Hindustani traditions. The melodic character of the Raga matches the mood of the exuberant acclamation of the divinity and humanity of Jesus by the Apostle of India.

The Aramaic words blend themselves easily into the melodic contours of the raga. Interestingly, Dr. Mondal seamlessly laces the English translation of the Aramaic phrase ("My Lord and My God") into the performance.

Dr. Krishna Pada Mondal is a mature musician who is bold enough to take a risk and brave enough to break the centuries-strong barriers of language and religion in classical music. The last time India witnessed such a transformation was during the rule of Akbar the Great (1556-1605) when there was a transition in Hindustani compositions from Sanskrit to Hindi. The intercultural interactions that took place at the court of Akbar included the introduction of Western Christianity by the Jesuit missionaries. Many famous paintings with Christian themes are witnesses to this dialogue. However, the legendary court musicians of the period have not indicated any interest in Christianity, Eastern or Western. Hence the importance of this epoch-making video. The Christian Musicological Society of India is immensely grateful to Prof. Krishna Pada Mondal and his team of accomplished artists for accepting the challenge to add a new chapter to the history of Hindustani music.

Significantly, the video portends immense possibilities for future composers and performers of Indian classical music in creating a new genre of music and a new mode of theologizing in India.

We sincerely hope Hindustani music connoisseurs in India would discover the performer who continues to cherish the knowledge and memories he acquired at his Alma Maters, the Depts of Music at M. S. University of Baroda, and Benares Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Joseph J. Palackal, CMI
New York
30 June 2022

Keywords: Aramaic Project, Cherian Kunianthodath , Mar Walah

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